Hi, from ALASKA! The Last Frontier. The Great North. Our new home!!
We made the official announcement in November. Ya know things ain’t real ‘til they Facebook official! And, life was just a whirlwind from then until like last week. I remember the day John told me he got orders. He literally found out the day they dropped, before his supervisors even had a chance to tell him. ( He was trying to register for classes but couldn’t because he was on lock down due to orders. Ya know, orders we didn’t know he even had yet!) We hopped on to the internet right away. And, then I spent me time that night looking into houses. Thinking what our life would look like in ALASKA! And, here we are three weeks in at the home we were daydreaming about.
Happy. Content. Excited. Grateful! The feelings have been on full blast in the past five months. And, they’re just now starting to settle in.
I know when things are stressful it all seems to pile on. When it rains it pours. But, man, this PCS it really felt like it was pouring. I know my husband felt the most of it. As he was the one getting paper after paper. Short deadline after short deadline. But, any mom or partner knows that everybody feels the stress! I remember getting call after call.
“Easton isn’t cleared yet.”
“This paper work wasn’t filled out right.”
“The deadline was yesterday.”
Every time that Hubby💍 popped up on my iPhone screen I worried if it would be good news or bad. As if the logistics and all the paper work required for a move wasn’t enough, there was plenty of stress at the Ronan house to go along side it.
Packing up an entire life of two adults, two kids, and two dogs, to move thousands of miles away is a feat. It’s a checklist after checklist. And, as if moving our family of four from California to Alaska wasn’t enough, we had our fair share of hiccups.
Easton was almost not medically cleared.
Everybody in the family must be medically cleared before a move, in the Air Force at least. We knew Easton could be tricky since he had been seeing a Pediatric Orthopedic specialist since he was 8 weeks old. Thankfully he was cleared a month into PCS prep! Or, so we thought. Although, he is no longer required to wear his nighttime shoes, his doctor filled out the paperwork stating he still requires check ups every six months.
Having a second car they won’t ship.
The Air Force will only ship one vehicle. The starting price to ship our second was $2500. Not worth it on a car that won’t work for us long time. Mama’s gonna need a third row in a few years.
Moving company coming nearly a month before we actually move.
Thankfully there are furnished apartments offered through the Air Force Inns where we ended up staying for an entire month!
Our second car being rear-ended the day we moved out.
It was a long stress and tear filled week and a half following. But, as it would turn out the car had actually endured enough damage that the insurance company considered it totaled. And, they ended up taking it off our hands. And, erasing that stress with time to spare. Still waiting on the check but it was actually the best thing that could have happened, and the only scenario where we made as much money!
Having to drive six hours to ship our car.
Driving to LA with four stuffed bags of luggage, two dogs, two kids, two car seats, two anxious grown ups, a dog crate tied down on the top, and zero space in the vehicle ended up being more of just a nuisance than a stress hiccup. Although, the smoking exhaust half way up the steepest hill ever, was kind of the breaking point. And, after a quick cool down, Jeep and adults, we were back on the road without a hitch.
The day before we left California was probably the most low-key day we had since we got the news. We hardly left the hotel. Binge watched You. And, tried Door Dash for the first time. It was exactly what we needed before the final stressful moment of the big first PCS.
As you can imagine, we were kind of a hot mess at the airport. We had two dog crates with two dogs, one of them whining like an injured dolphin… seriously, two car seats, two big duffel bags stuffed to the 70 lbs max, two small carry ons also stuffed to the max, and only two grown ups to handle it all. Oh, and a rental that needed to be dropped off after we dropped off the stuff at the airport. At LAX.
We left our hotel nearly three hours before take off, and we got to our gate as they were start first call. If we ever fly a PCS again we are either packing one outfit a piece or hiring two nannies to help with check in. Because, man it was a long and sweaty process. And, it didn’t even help that it was 11:00 at night. The line was so long. And, unfortunately we were holding it up.
I don’t think we have ever felt more relieved than we did the moment we sat down on the plane that night. The moment we had been anxiously preparing for. All the papers my husband had to sign and resign. All the times we had to remind ourselves to just breathe, to just pray about. Lead up to this. It was actually happening. We were on a plane to ALASKA! The Ronan Family was saying goodbye to the only state they had ever known together. And, we’re embarking on a brand new journey.
Then replaced with tension of a long and very bumpy flight.
Seriously, I’ve never been on a flight with more turbulence. I was very uncomfortable the whole five hours. And, was sure I didn’t sleep a wink. Until I looked in the mirror at Anchorage International, 😳 talk about bed head.
Our First PCS was stressful. We spent five months on edge and overwhelmed. But, we made it! There was a lot of screen time. A ton of eating out. Even more expenses. 24 days in the hotel is no joke on the wallet. Zero sleep schedule. A lot of asking “seriously, what now?!” Some hard goodbyes. And, a whole lot of grace. Thank you Jesus!🙏🏻
For as never-ending as stressful times can feel. Especially paper work filled PCS’. Here we are nearly a month on the other side. And, just like every other stressful overwhelming time that we’ve gone through, we made it. The garage still has tons of moving boxes. But, we’re here! We’re in the place we’ve been anxiously Googling since October. We’ve got a new car. Both of us back to work. And, so very content!!
Just a few months before we got orders we were talking about how we felt antsy, restless, but prepared to be in California indefinitely. We had no idea that in less than a year of that conversation we’d be living so far away. Back in the snow and mountains. Watching moose in our front yard. And, finally living in a house with a backyard and a third bedroom. It was a trying journey to get here. But, what a blessing I think this change will be!